Two Russian employees of UTair airline abducted in Sudan

Kidnapped staff removed from UN mission bus at gunpoint in Darfur.

The Russian airline UTair has confirmed the abduction of two its employees in Darfur, Sudan.

"Two employees of the airline UTair working under a contract with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) were abducted by unknown persons in the town of Zalingei, Sudan, at around 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 29," read the company's statement.

"The UNAMID minibus was trapped by six vehicles. The passengers had to get off the bus at gunpoint and were taken away in an unknown direction."

UTair is collaborating with UNAMID representatives and diplomatic missions to continue the search for its missing employees and is taking the utmost efforts toward that end. There have been no demands made by the abductors as of yet, according to the statement.

The Russian Embassy in Sudan has already established an emergency operations center as part of efforts to secure the release of the two Russian citizens as soon as possible, embassy press attache Artur Safukov told Interfax.

"The Russian embassy is actively working and is taking all necessary measures to secure the release  of the Russian citizens as soon as possible and establish all details and circumstances of the incident," said Safukov .

"An emergency operations center has already been established and is working to investigate this abduction and secure the Russians' release as soon as possible," he said, declining to provide further details.


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